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Curtain comes down on thrilling football season


Seabata Mahao

After a relentless title race which was only decided on the last day of the season, the curtain has finally closed on what has been a thrilling football season.

Bantu FC finally brought the league title home after hammering Lifofane 3-0 in their final match of the season, which took place at Setsoto Stadium.

At one point towards the end of the grueling season, it looked as though Bantu would lose its grip on the league title as they blew away a five-point goal lead and were consequently overtaken by LDF to take the top spot.

The chasing pack of Linare, LCS, and Matlama FC also kept the title race interesting as they stayed within touching distance to capitalise on any slip ups by the log leaders.

However, after an inspired change in their coaching department, where they reunited with their previous title-winning coach, Bob Mafoso, Bantu reclaimed the top spot and held on until the end of the season to be crowned champions.

In their ultimate match of the season, Bantu’s Motlomelo Mkhwanazi, Tšeliso Botsane, and Kananelo Rapuleng were on the score sheet as they buried Lifofane.

The victory heralded A Matšo Matebele as the league champions with 68 points from 30 matches.

This is Bantu’s fifth title in the space of ten years. They first won the league in the 2013/14 season.

They also went on to win it back-to-back in 2016/17 and 2017/18. The last time they won it was in the 2019/20 season.

Second-placed Linare had to settle for 63 points after defeating LDF FC 2-0 at Leribe District Football Association (DiFA) Stadium in Maputsoe in the last match.

LDF finished the season in position three with 62 points. LMPS FC made it into the top four with 58 points.

They concluded their league campaign with a 3-0 win over Manonyane FC in a match held at Police Training College (PTC) in Maseru.

Bantu, the champions, received a first prize of M580,000, while Linare was awarded M270,000 for finishing as runners-up.

LDF took home M210,000 with LMPS receiving M130,000.

Hlomelang Lebina and Jane Thabantšo shared the top goal scorers award for the season.

Both players closed the 2022/23 season with 15 goals each and were five goals short of reaching Katleho Makateng’s last season’s record of 20 goals.

The last round of last weekend’s VPL matches ended as follows:

Bantu 3-0 Lifofane (Setsoto Stadium), Naughty Boys 0-2 Lijabatho (Morija Ground), Linare 2-0 LDF (DiFA Stadium Leribe), Swallows 2-4 Lioli (Nyakosoba Ground), Liphakoe 2-1 Galaxy (Ratjomose Ground), Machokha 0-5 Matlama (Bambatha TÅ¡ita Sports Arena), LMPS 3-0 Manonyane (PTC), and LCS 4-0 CCX (LCS Ground).

In the upcoming 2023/24 A-Division League season, the southern stream will consist of Qacha’s Nek LMPS FC, Quthing LMPS FC, Majantja FC, O5 United FC, Sefothafotha YS FC, Members FC, Swallows FC, Roma Boys FC, Likhopo FC, and Qoaling Highlanders FC.

The northern stream will be made up of Mzamane FC, Butha Buthe Warriors FC, Litšilo FC, Galaxy FC, Lilemela FC, Maroala FC, Sehenehene FC, CF RYDO FC, Kick4Life FC, and Rovers FC.

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